Business booming for towing companies in bone-chilling cold

Photo: Jordan Bowen

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Business is booming for towing companies as the bone-chilling cold causes major problems for drivers.

The frigid cold isn’t going anywhere, but tow truck drivers, like Maxx Schmidt, are going nearly everywhere.

“The Dayton area for a couple calls. Cincinnati. Went to Springfield,” Schmidt said. “Columbus. It’s been a busy day.”

Companies like Sandy’s Towing are cashing in.

“It all started last Friday,” Sandy’s Towing Co-Owner Doug Thoma said. “And it’s been gangbusters ever since.”

More than 600 calls came in Thursday, forcing Thoma to limit who they could do business with.

“It can be a little bit overwhelming,” Thoma said. “We got to a point for a couple days where we were only accepting our commercial customers and regular customers, we couldn’t take the influx of all the calls.”

With as many as 60 drivers on staff, at it’s peak, wait times were as long as 5 hours.

“We always stay busy,” Schmidt said. “There isn’t much down time at all.”

Schmidt says temperatures this low are tough for any car to handle.

“Extreme cold can do things to the electronics of the cars,” Schmidt said. “Flat tires. Any number of things can go wrong.”

Not only commuters, but commercial drivers are seeing issues with fuel thickening in the cold.

“The diesel fuel is gelled up in them,” Thoma said. “They haven’t had the trucks plugged in and those big motors won’t turn unless they’re heated.”

Despite working 15-hour days, Thoma says his crews are prepared and ready for whatever mother nature has in store.

“It’s trying on them, but we got a good group of people,” Thoma said. “They’re very dependable.”

When temperatures reach in the single digits, cars can break down and batteries can die, leaving you stranded. If that happens, the best thing you can do is be prepared. Pack items, like, blankets, hats and gloves to stay warm because cars are not well-insulated and will get cold fast. Also, pack items like a flashlight and food and water just to safe if stranded some where for a long period of time. Most importantly, have a fully charged cell phone so you can call for a ride or a tow truck company.

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